Making Buddhist Offerings

Generally, offerings are a sign of respect and gratitude to our Teacher, Lord Buddha, and the consideration that one should not partake of good things without first having offered something, symbolically, to the Lord Buddha. The word ‘offering’ rather suggests that one expects those things to be ‘accepted’ but of course Lord Buddha, having attained Nibbana, is beyond acceptance and rejection. The Pali word for these offerings makes this matter clearer: Sakkara. It is that which should be done properly, and means firstly, honour and hospitality given to guests and so by extension, to a symbol of respect to one’s Teacher.

Offering of Light
Candles or other lights are lit to symbolise the light of Dhamma which one Garlandshould find in one’s own heart. It also symbolises the ability to see the nature of the body and the mind after one trains oneself in the Path taught by Lord Buddha.

Offering of Incense
Incense, having a good smell, reminds us that our reputation for strict adherence to good moral conduct will spread far and wide just as the good smell of the incense can be carried far and wide by the wind.

Offering of Flowers
The offering of flowers is used as an object for the contemplation of the body’s impermanence and to remind practitioners not to be deluded with their own youthfulness.
More information on making buddhist offerings may be found here.